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Small decline in Northern Ireland planning decisions

Words: Laura Edgar
Housebuilding / iStock

Planning authorities in Northern Ireland decided 3,009 planning applications in the first quarter of 2019/20, a decrease of 2 per cent compared with the previous quarter, suggest government statistics.

This figure is similar to the decisions made in the comparable quarter in 2018/19.

According to the statistical bulletin released by Northern Ireland’s Department for Infrastructure, of the decisions made in the first quarter of this year, 2,971 were local, 37 were major, and one was a regionally significant planning application.

Councils received 3,403 planning applications during the first three months of 2019/20 – an increase of 7 per cent compared with the final quarter of 2018/19 and a 5 per cent increase on the same period a year earlier. This breaks down to 3,370 local applications and 33 large applications.

It took an average of 13.8 weeks to process local applications to decision or withdrawal in the first quarter of this year, which is within the 15-week target.

It is noted as an improvement of 1.4 weeks over the same quarter in the previous year. Eight of the 11 councils were within this target.

For large applications, the average processing time for the first quarter of 2019/20 was 55.8 weeks, which is 11.8 weeks faster when compared with the first quarter of 2018/19. Despite the improvement, it is still well outside the 30-week target.

Councils concluded 81 per cent of enforcement cases within 39 weeks during the first quarter, 11 percentage points higher than the target of 70 per cent. It is also an increase from 80 per cent on the same quarter in 2018/19.

More information on the statistical release can be found on the Department for Infrastructure website.

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